I've been doing this Movember thing for 5 years now. Raised money, organised events, grew moustaches, sold stuff, and in many other ways raised awareness for the cause.
In short, November is the month of the year where we’re called to face the truth: Our fathers, brothers, sons, and loved ones are dying too young. And we can’t afford to stay silent.
I have therefore joined the fight for one more year, and you, too, can contribute. Here’s all you need to know about the Movember movement and 6 ways in which you can help change the face of men's health!
What’s Movember anyway?
The movement’s name is derived from the Australian-English word for moustache, “mo”, and November. Movember consists of an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues.
The Movember organisation is taking action as the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale. Its movement addresses some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.
In 15 years, Movember has funded more than 1200 men’s health projects around the world. The goal is to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.
From humble beginnings back in 2003, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one, inspiring support from over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas. Read more about the Movember story here.
Movember and Mental Health
A large part of the movement is now Mental Health, seeing that the results of poor mental health can be deadly.
According to the Movember website, globally, a man dies every minute from suicide. Men regardless of age group, often don’t recognise when they’re experiencing a mental health issue, and may not be comfortable asking for help. The uncomfortable truth is that some stereotypical forms of masculinity are killing men.
And that's why we should keep the conversation going. However uncomfortable it might be, keep questioning the stereotypes and keep encouraging men to feel their feelings and speak their worries.
In order to stop men from dying too young, I have once more taken on spreading awareness and growing a moustache during the 30 days of this month. I have also decided to donate all my hair to charity. The appearance changes serve as conversation starters, and, from my experience, these conversations can save lives.
6 ways in which YOU can change the face of Men’s Health
(1) Watch and sponsor!
In case this previous paragraph intimidated you, don’t worry: you're neither expected to grow a moustache nor do you need to say goodbye to your hair! I am taking one for the team, and you can follow my mo and haircut journey through my Instagram stories!
Feel free to make a donation on my Mo space, and remember: every euro can help in the prevention, treatment, and spreading of awareness of mental health issues.
I thank you for your generosity and altruism. It will literally save lives.
(2) Get men into Yoga!
Did you know that Yoga was actually a practice made by men for men? A practice made for Indian boys, to be exact.
With Yoga migrating to the Western world, this tradition seems to have been lost in translation. The benefits of Yoga for men are nonetheless undeniable: a stronger body, a focused mind, a feeling of peace, a state of clarity… These are all elements that will help fight against the alarmingly high rate of suicide in men.
In a world where most men are ‘toughing it out’, keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence, let’s encourage more and more men to develop a Yoga practice.
At the studio where I teach, Glow Yoga Barcelona, we offer diverse styles of Yoga and Meditation classes and we are welcoming people of all ages and physical capacities. Bring your brother, your father, your son, your partner along, and see how these thousands-of-years-old practices can benefit their overall state of health and happiness in a life-transformative way!
We have also placed a moustached piggy bank at a corner of the studio where every donation can make a difference.
(3) Take a Movember Power Yoga class!
To add to our plethora of classes, as a November special, Glow Yoga Barcelona will be offering two weekly Movember Power Yoga classes, from which 50% of the earnings will go directly to the Movember charity!
These will be dynamic classes for all levels and genders, with inspiration from Ashtanga Yoga and Forrest Yoga. Pose variations and modifications will always be given so that everyone can approach these classes in a safe and constructive way.
The intention is for the students to channel their inner strength and cultivate their mental clarity. After all, if we really want to promote Mental Health, our priority should be to start with the person in the mirror.
And what better way of doing that than while knowing that half the revenue will get to serve men’s mental health on a global level?
(4) Have a Daily Meditation practice!
As per my teachers' teacher, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, "the world needs you to do your practice".
By having a daily spiritual practice, we are helping the world as a whole in a very profound way, in a way we probably will never be able to fully comprehend.
In the same spirit as with the Movember Power Yoga classes, I have decided to donate 20 euros to Movember for each person who signs up to my online Meditation programmes this month. These programmes will provide you with more clarity and self-confidence, qualities that will help you be emotionally balanced and mentally healthy.
Everyone can find 15 minutes every morning and 10 minutes every night to take care of their self-development and overall wellbeing - this is what this programme teaches men and women to do, and, on top of everything, by signing up this month you get to sponsor the Movember cause globally!
(5) ‘The Man Behind the Moustache’ Project.
As explained above, November is the month for Men’s Health and Mental Health Awareness. Too many lives are lost in vain, literally or practically, because of men being uncomfortable with their own feelings or with asking for help when they need it.
This is the reason behind ‘The Man Behind the Moustache’ Initiative. We are asking men to talk about Mental Health, what it means to them, and how they stay mentally healthy.
Do not underestimate the difference we are making by talking about these things. You can already see the first submissions on my Instagram page.
I’d be thrilled to receive your submissions through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s the details:
👨If you’re a man, send a short video of yourself (15 to 45 seconds long) filling in these gaps: “For me, Mental Health is … and, in order to be mentally healthy, I ...”
👩If you’re a woman, please find a man (a brother, a father, a friend, a lover...) and record such a video of them and send it to me!
Lastly but probably most importantly, spread the word!
That’s why it all started with a moustache. The moustache served as a conversation starter, and suddenly men were talking about health issues that had always been considered taboo.
The difficult conversations are the ones that can change lives, save lives, and they always come with a sweet aftertaste of lightness and fulfilled duty.
You can start by sharing this article on social media. You can start by asking a coworker or a neighbour if they ever heard of ‘Movember’. It’s always a ‘one step at a time’ deal. Start small and learn to get more and more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
If you knew you could save a life by having an uncomfortable conversation, that you could actually save a person’s life, wouldn’t you have it? Well, YOU CAN save a life. Maybe it’s your life you’ll be saving. And there’s nothing selfish about that.
Thank you for making it to the end of this article. As a reward, you get to see my back-to-the-future short-haired self. Click on him and sponsor him! My moustached and soon to be short-haired self will appreciate it greatly!
Thank you ever so much for your help in changing the world one man at a time. We're all in this together. And, just like I've always had people lift me up, know that I'M HERE FOR YOU, if you ever need to talk. Let's get in touch and let's get uncomfortable together!...